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Forgiveness & Facing Problems

Forgiveness & Facing Problems

The first article "Forgiveness: The Mark of a Muslim" discusses the ways of forgiving, the second "Don't be sad" tells us how the Sahaba endured hardship throughout their lives, they loved the Prophet(saws) to such an extent that their problems seemed insignificant.

We don't have the privilege of being in the company of the Prophet(saws) like the Sahaba did, but we do have their stories and the many examples of being patient and forgiveness in the Qur'an and Ahadeeth. We all face problems in our lives, some of us endure more than others. Today's world is filled with people with personality disorders who inflict pain on others causing them to have emotional trauma's, people who seek out to hurt others...Muslims are taught to be forgiving, at times this can be very difficult to achieve, the one thing that can rise above all the pain and hurt wich causes people to either limit themselves in their ability to forgive or not be able to forgive at all, is true knowledge of Qur'an and Sunnah...developing your love for Allah and knowing that no matter what happens to you, it happens for a reason, you may not like it, it may be something that causes you to spend your days and night in tears but it happens because Allah wants it. In both good and bad occassions are blessings. We may not be able to see it but we can be aware of it by learning the proper etiquette of being a Muslim.

Hurt is part of life, what matters is what you do with the hurt.....The Sahaba were totally occupied with performing good deeds, they didn't sit in a corner and wallowed in their misery, they were fully prepared to go through all the obstacles that came their way because of their deep love for Allah(SWT), the Prophet(saws), Islam and the Ummah. When we take their examples and develop our love for true Islam, then forgiving those who hurt us will become much easier to do, the pain might never leave completely but the heart will find rest in knowing better times are ahead if we follow the right path, Islam.


Forgiveness: The Mark of a Muslim

By: Ibn Taymiyyah

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. Indeed Allaah - to whom belongs all praise - has bestowed upon me immense grace, great favours and generous blessings which necessitates immense gratitude, being firm upon obedience to him, and becoming accustomed to having beautiful patience in that which He ordered. Indeed, a servant is ordered to have sabr (patience) in times of ease more so than in times of hardship. Allaah - the Most High - said:

"But if we let man taste the good favours after poverty and harm have touched him, he is sure to boastfully say: Harm has departed from me. Indeed he is exultant, boastful and ungrateful to Allaah, except for those who observe patience and perform righteous deeds, for them will be forgiveness and a great reward." [Soorah Hood 11:10-11]

And you all know that Allaah - the Most Perfect - has blessed this affair [2] with such blessings which contain the means to aid His Religion, raise high His Word, aid His Army, and grant honour to His Awliyaa‘ (pious and righteous servants). It is also the cause for strengthening Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah and causing humiliation to the people of innovations and sectarianism. Likewise, it is also the cause of affirming that which has been affirmed by yourselves from the Sunnah (regarding the truth of this matter), and a cause for increasing this by opening up the avenues of guidance, victory and proofs; such that the truth becomes known to the people, who none but Allaah can enumerate. It is also a cause for the masses to begin to accept the way of the Sunnah and the Jamaa’ah ; as well as countless other favours. All of this must therefore be accompanied by immense gratitude to Allaah, as well as having patience - even if this patience is in times of ease.

And you all know that from the great principles which sum up the Religion is: Uniting the hearts, unifying the word, and reconciling between each other, as Allaah - the Most High - said:

"So fear and obey Allaah, and reconcile the matters of difference between yourselves." [Sooratul-Anfaal 8:10]

"And hold fast together to the Rope of Allaah and do not split-up." [Soorah Aali-’Imraan 3:103]

"And do not be like those who split-up and differed after clear proofs came to them. For those there will be a severe punishment." [Soorah Aali-’Imraan 3:105]

And other examples like this from the texts (of Revelation), which order us with the Jamaa’ah (upon the way of the Companions) and coming together, and prohibit splitting and differing. And the people who most exemplify this principle are Ahlul-Jamaa’ah (the people of the Jamaa’ah ), just as the people who most exemplify leaving it are the people of sectarianism.

And that which sums up the Sunnah is: obedience to the Messenger. This is why the Prophet ( sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam ) said, "Indeed Allaah is pleased with three things: That you worship Allaah alone without associating any partner along with Him; that you hold fast altogether to the Rope of Allaah and not to become split-up; and that you give sincere advise to whomever Allaah put in charge of your affairs." [3]

And in the Sunan collections from the hadeeth of Zayd Ibn Thaabit and Ibn Mas’ood - who were both great fuqahaa‘ (Scholars of deep understanding) - who relate that the Prophet ( sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam ) said, "May Allaah enliven whosoever hears my words, memorizes them and conveys them to others. Many a carrier of knowledge does not understand it, and many a carrier of knowledge carries it to one who has better understanding. There are three things which the heart of the Believer has no malice about: Sincerity for Allaah in one’s action; sincere advice to those in authority, and clinging to the Jamaa’ah ." [4]

And his saying, ‘...has no malice,’ means not having any contempt for them. So the heart of a Muslim does not have these characteristics. On the contrary, it loves and is pleased with them.

So the first thing which I shall begin with regarding this principle is what is connected to myself. So you all should know - may Allaah be pleased with you all - that I do not desire any harm at all - inwardly, nor outwardly - for anyone from amongst the general masses of the Muslims, let alone our colleagues and companions. Nor do I harbour any ill-feeling towards any one of them, nor do I blame them for anything at all. Rather, to me they are deserving of nobility, love, honour and respect, over and over - each in accordance to their level. And a person cannot be except (one of three types): Someone who sincerely strives to ascertain the truth; and is correct, or one who sincerely strives to ascertain the truth; but errs, or a sinful person. As for the first, then he is rewarded and thanked. The second is rewarded for his ijtihaad (striving to ascertain the truth), and is forgiven and excused for his error. As for the third, then may Allaah forgive us, and him, and all the Believers.

So we should try not to dwell upon the words of those who opposed this fundamental; by saying that so and so is deficient, or so and so did not act, or so and so was the cause of harm to the Shaykh, or was the reason why all this occurred, or so and so used to speak about the plots of so and so; and other such similar statements which contain criticism of some of our colleagues and brothers. For indeed I do not allow them to harm the brothers and colleagues in this manner, and there is no might, nor power, except with Allaah. [5] Rather, the likes of this criticism usually returns to the one who said it in the first place, unless he has good deeds by which Allaah will forgive him - if He wills - and indeed Allaah does forgive that which has preceded. And you also all know about the harsh treatment that was given to some of the brothers in Damascus, and that which occurs even now in Egypt. This - in reality - is not due to a deficiency or shortcoming in the brothers, nor has it occurred because we have changed our views and hate them. Rather, such people, after receiving such harsh treatment, increase in the status, love, and respect that we have for them. For indeed, the likes of these trials are beneficial to the Believers, because Allaah corrects and improves them due to it Since the Believer to another Believer is like each of a pair of hands, each washes the other. However, it happens that sometimes happens that dirt cannot be removed except with a certain amount of roughness, but that brings about cleanliness and softness, for which that roughness is praised...

You (also) all know that much of what has occurred in this matter were lies, false accusations, false suspicions, and the following of false desires, the likes of which cannot be described. So all those lies and false accusations that were directed against me, were actually a source of goodness and blessing for me. Allaah - the Most High - said:

"Indeed those who brought forward the lie are a small group amongst you. However, do not think that it is an evil for you. Rather, it is good for you. And every person from amongst them will be paid the sin of what they earned. And as for the one who took on the leading role in this, his will be a severe punishment." [Sooratun-Noor 24:11]

So though such trials, Allaah manifests the light of truth and its clear proofs, which repel the falsehood and lies. So I do not take revenge upon any of those who lied against me, oppressed me, or showed enmity and hatred towards me. For indeed I forgive every Muslim, and I love only the good for them, and I desire for every Muslim the good that I desire for myself. And as for those who lied and did wrong, then I have excused and forgiven them. However, whatever is connected to violating the Rights of Allaah in this affair, then they should seek tawbah (repentance). So if they turn to Allaah in repentance, then Allaah will turn to them in forgiveness, otherwise, the Judgement of Allaah will apply to them. So if a person were to be thanked for his evil actions, then I thank all those who were the cause for this (trial) to happen to me - for it entails all the good of this world and the Hereafter. However, Allaah is thanked for His good blessing and favour by which no affair happens to a Believer, except that, there is good for him in it. And the people of good intentions are thanked for their intentions, and the people of good actions are thanked for their actions. As for those who did evil - then we ask Allaah that He turns to them in forgiveness. And you all know that this is from my nature and character.

Likewise, you all know that Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq ( radiyallaahu ’anhu ), concerning the matter of al-Ifq (the lie against ’Aa‘ishah, his daughter, the wife of the Prophet), about which Allaah revealed some aayaat of the Qur‘aan , so he swore that he would not give anymore charity to Mistaah Ibn Athaathah, because Mistaah was one of those who participated in the Lie. So Allaah revealed:

"And let not those amongst you who have been blessed with grace and wealth swear not to give any wealth or support to their relatives, or to the poor and needy, or to those who migrated in the Path of Allaah. Rather, let them pardon and be forgiving. Do you not love that Allaah should forgive you? And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Sooratun-Noor 24:22]

So when this aayah was revealed, Aboo Bakr ( radiyallaahu ’anhu ) said, "Rather, by Allaah! I love that Allaah should forgive me." So he continued to give to Mistaah the aid and charity that he used to give before. [6] So with forgiveness and kind treatment towards one another, and carrying out Jihaad (fighting and striving) in the Path of Allaah, then it is a must that:

"Allaah will bring a people whom He will love, and love Him; soft, humble and gentle with the Believers, stern towards the unbelievers, fighting the Path of Allaah, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allaah that He bestows upon whomsoever He wills. And Allaah suffices for the needs of His creation, the All-Knower. Indeed your Walee (protector and guardian) is Allaah, His Messenger and the Believers; those who offer the Prayer correctly, and give Zakaat, and who bow down in obedience to Allaah. And whoever takes Allaah, and His Messenger, and the Believers as protectors and guardians, then it is the party of Allaah who will be victorious." [Sooratul-Maa‘idah 55:53]

Was-salaamu ’alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu .


[1] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (28/50-57), slightly abridged

[2] The affair being referred to is the first of Ibn Taymiyyah’s unjust imprisonment - a period of one and a half years, in the year 705H - which occurred due to some lies and false accusations against him.

[3] Related by Muslim (3/1340) and Ahmad (2/367)

[4] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/80) and Ibn Maajah (no. 320). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 404)

[5] This is in reference to some of their colleagues and brothers in Damascus, who weakened during this ordeal, and did not remain firm upon the correct methodology. So Ibn Taymiyyah is prohibiting any of his students and colleagues from harming them in any way, and he makes an excuse for them, and explains that he bears no ill-feeling or hatred in his heart towards any of them. Rather, he makes it clear that he has respect for them, and that he loves them for the sake of Allaah.

6] Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 4757)

Don't be sad
Shaykh Aaidh Al-Qarni
It is narrated that the Prophet(saws) said:


"Wonderful is the affair of the believer! His affairs in their entirety are good for him: if good befalls him, he is thankful and that is good for him. And if harm befalls him, he is patient, and that is good for him. And this (prosperous state of being) is only for the believer."

In another authentic hadith, the Prophet(saws) said:


"If you ask, then ask of Allah, and if you seek help, then seek it from Allah. And know that if the whole of the nation were to rally together in order to bring benefit to you in anything, they would not benefit you except with that wich Allah has written for you. And if they were to gather together in order to inflict harm upon you with something, they would not harm you except with that wich Allah has written upon you. The pens have been raised and the pages are dried."


The Bliss of the Companions

Our Prophet(saws) came to all people with a heavenly message. He was not driven by wordly ambition, he had no treasure from wich to spend, no splendid gardens from wich to eat, and no castle in wich to live. Despite all this, his loving followers pledged allegiance to him and remained steadfast, enduring a hard life full of difficulties. They were few and weak, always in fear of being uprooted by those surrounding them, and yet they loved him wholly and completely.

They were besieged in the mountain pass, and during that time, they had little or no food. Their reputations were attacked, their own relatives waged war against them, and yet their love for him was perfect.


Some of them were dragged over the hot sands of the desert, some were imprisoned, and others were subject to inventive and innovative ways of punishment - all of wich the disbelievers inflicted upon them. Having to endure all of that, they still loved him unreservedly with heart and soul.


They were deprived of home, country, family and wealth. They were driven out from the playing fields of their childhood and from the homes in wich they were raised. Despite all of this suffering, they loved him unequivocally.

The believers faced trials because of his message. The very ground under them was shaken violently, and yet their love for him continued to grow. The best among their youth constantly had swords hanging menacingly over their heads. Their men moved forward lightly across the battlefield, advancing to death as if they were upon an excursion or a holiday, for the simple reason that they loved him unconditionally.


One of them was charged with the duty of carrying his message to a king in a foreign land and that person knew that it was a mission from wich he would not return. Yet he went and fulfilled his duty. One of them was sent on a mission, knowing that it would be the cause of his death, and he went happily, for he loved the Prophet(saws) with unmitigated love.

But why did they love him, and why were they so happy with his message and content with his example? Why did they forget the pain, the suffering, and the hardship that resulted from following him?

To put it simple, he epitomized benevolence and righteousness. Thet percieved in him all the signs of truth and purity. He was a symbol for those who sought out higher things. With his tenderness he cooled the rancour in hearts of people, with words of truth he soothed their chests, and with his message he filled their souls with peace.

He poured happines into their hearts, until the pain that they endured from being at his side was made to feel insignificant. And he poured into their souls a belief that made them forget every injury, every harm, and every adversity.

He polished their insides with his guidance and he illuminated their eyes with his brilliance. He removed from them the burdens of ignorance, the depravitites of idolatry, and the evil consequences of polytheism. He extinguished the fires of malice and animosity from their souls and he poured the water of faith into their hearts. Thus, their minds and bodies became relaxed and their hearts found peace.

They tasted the beauty of life with him and they knew delight in his company. they found happiness at his side, safety and salvation in following him, and inner-richness in emulating him:


"And We have sent, you[O' Muhammad] not but as a mercy for all that exists." Surah Al-Anbiya - Ayah 107.

"And verily, you[O' Muhammad] are indeed guiding [mankind] to the straight path." Surah Ash-Shura - Ayah 52.

"And He brings them out of darkness [by Allah's Will] unto light..." Surah Al-Ma'idah - Ayah 16.

Also among the principles of the art of happiness is to value life on this earth according to its true merit and worth. This life is frivilous and does not warrant anything from you except that you turn away from it. This life is filled with calamities, aches and wounds. If that is the description of this life, then how can one be unduly affected by its minor calamities, and how can one grieve over such material things as have passed by? The best moments of life are tainted, its future promises are mere mirages, the succesful one in it are envied, the one who is blessed is constantly threathened, and lovers are struck down by some unexpected misfortune.

There is a hadith:

"Verily, knowledge is only acquired by the practice of learning, and tolerance is acquired by the practice of tolerating."

If one were to reflect and attempt to apply the meaning of this hadith to the topic under discussion, then he could go one step further and say that happiness is acquired by assuming it. It is acquired by constantly smiling, by hunting for the reasons that make on happy, and even by forcing it onto one's self, however awkward that may seem. One does all of these things until happiness becomes second nature.


The truth of the matter is that you cannot remove from yourself all remnants of grief. And the reason for this is that life is created as a test:

"Verily, We have created man in toil." Surah Al-Balad - Ayah 4.

"That He might try you, wich of you is the best in deeds." Surah Hud - Ayah 7.

But the message that I wish to convey to you is that you should, as much as possible, reduce the amount and intensity of your grief. As for being completely free from grief; this is for the inhabitants of Paradise in the Hereafter. This is why the dwellers of Paradise shall say:

"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has removed from us [all] grief." Surah Fatir - Ayah 34.

This is considered to be a proof that grief was not removed from them except in Paradise. And in another hadith, the Prophet(saws) said:

"And I ask you [O' Allah] to make me just, both while being in a state of anger and while being in a state of joy."

So when a person curbs his emotions, when he controls his mind, and when to each matter he gives according to the weight of its importance, he will have taken a step toward wisdom and true understanding.

"Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance[justice] that mankind may keep up justice." Surah Al-Hadid - Ayah 25.


Indeed, Islam came as much with balance in morals, manners and dealings as it did with its straightforward, holy and a truthful way of life.

"Thus We have made you a just[the best] nation." Surah Al-Baqarah - Ayah 143.





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